I know Brussels sprouts are not really “in season” right now. We are actually at the end of their season, but I was craving a Brussels salad for lunch after devouring one the other night at a local restaurant. Brussels sprouts do taste best in the fall when they are small and green, but you can find still find them in most grocery stores this time of year, at least in the Bay area. If you’re not a fan of Brussles sprouts or have not tried them, then you might want to wait and try this recipe in the fall when they are at their peak season. I like veggies so this is a salad for someone who likes veggies, especially Brussels Sprouts. Now, if you want a nutritious salad, I mean super nutritious salad, that doesn’t taste like veggies, then try my lacinato kale salad. This salad has converted a few of my friends from kale haters to kale lovers.
So lets move onto the reason that I was craving this salad. My in-laws were in town last weekend and we went out to dinner at a local pizzeria. My father-in-law ordered this Brussels salad that was to-die-for. We all took our forks and dug in as it looked delish. I loved the salad, and it was fun to try Brussels a new way rather than the roasted version I always make. I told Mookie, (that’s what we call John’s dad, as Zoe named him that when she was 2 and it just sort of stuck) that I was going to make a Brussels salad this week as a tribute to him since he loves Brussels sprouts.
My salad is a bit different than the restaurant’s version. Their salad contained eggs, bacon and some other yummy and delectable ingredients. My salad is a bit healthier (sans the bacon) and is RAW. Yes, you heard me correctly, this is a RAW salad and you are going to be eating RAW Brussels folks (should you choose to make this). Honestly, I was a bit intimated to try them raw, but the mustard dressing, walnuts and the cheese took away any bitter taste. I actually ate the whole bowl in one sitting and thus was stuffed, as Brussels have so much fiber in them that they are really a meal in its self.
Brussels sprouts salad:
- 9-12 Brussels sprouts, washed and dried, woody ends cut off, and sliced into thin slices- I used about 8 or 9
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped up into small pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey – optional
Toast up your walnuts. My favorite way to toast nuts is by using a frying pan. Some people like to toast them in the oven, but the frying pan seems to work better for me. Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Add walnuts to the hot, dry pan and cook, watching constantly and stirring frequently, until walnuts start to brown and smell toasted, about 5 minutes.
Now onto the Brussels sprouts. Cut the ends off of your Brussels and then pull off any yucky leaves. Rinse the Brussels in a bowl of water. Slice the Brussels into thin slices with a knife (see instructions below for how I did it) or you can use the slicing disc of a food processor or a mandoline. I did not have the later two, so I just used a knife.
Cut the sprout in half, vertically, cutting right through the core. Place the half face down on the cutting board and cut it crosswise in thin strips. This is what you’re left with. Feel free to throw away any of the yellow core. Put the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper into a small jar, put on the lid and SHAKE IT UP until the vinaigrette has come together. If you don’t have a little cute jar, then just whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Add in the freshly shredded cheese.
I have never eaten Brussels sprouts raw before and I really enjoyed this salad.
I think I will enjoy it even more in the fall when the Brussels are at their peak.